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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

She has been hailed by Michael Chabon as “the most darkly playful voice in American fiction” and by Neil Gaiman as “a national treasure.” Now Kelly Link’s eagerly awaited new collection—her first for adult readers in a decade—proves indelibly that this bewitchingly original writer is among the finest we have. Link has won an ardent following for her ability, with each new short story, to take readers deeply into an unforgettable, brilliantly constructed fictional universe. The nine exquisite examples in this collection show her in full command of her formidable powers. In “The Summer People,” a young girl in rural North Carolina serves as uneasy caretaker to the mysterious, never-quite-glimpsed visitors who inhabit the cottage behind her house. In “I Can See Right Through You,” a middle-aged movie star makes a disturbing trip to the Florida swamp where his former on- and off-screen love interest is shooting a ghost-hunting reality show. In “The New Boyfriend,” a suburban slumber pa…

Overall Book Review:

I have mentioned in previous reviews how I have a love-hate relationship with collections of short stories. Some are great, and some not so much. I have found it usually depends on the author. Sometimes they have a knack for fitting a whole story into a chapter’s worth of words, and sometimes they don’t. Kelly Link proved to me in her book Get in Trouble that she has “the knack”.

The first story in this book held a certain magical feel about it, and I was never quite sure exactly who or what I was reading about. The “summer people” could have been real or imagined after all, but whatever the creatures were, they made me want to know more about them. The next story became a little weird and wasn’t really my thing, but after that, I felt like the rest of the stories were fun and quirky, and easy to follow. I like how this book is full of little ideas that the author probably didn’t think could sustain a full-length book, but decided to dedicate some space to anyway. Perhaps that is what all collections of short stories are?

To me, a good collection of short stories doesn’t necessarily have to follow a certain thread, or have similar subjects. They just have to be funny, interesting, and hold my interest. The ones in this book were all that and more, and I will be looking for more of Kelly Link’s books in the future.

Review of an Advance Review Copy

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Random House


Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  4 religious exclamations; 7 mild obscenities; 6 derogatory names; 4 scatological words; 7 anatomical terms; 17 F-Word derivatives.

Violence/Gore:  A stalker is mentioned to break into a house; creepy ghost stories are told and referred to; a murder occurs; girls’ body is found crushed under a tree; a character cuts his wrists deeply, blood and gore is briefly described.

Sex/Nudity: Adults kiss; a girl kisses another girl in a sexual way; a sex tape is referred to; porn is mentioned with no description; some nudity with no sexual innuendo is mentioned; a couple is mentioned to be “sleeping together”; a girl meets with an older man and has a relationship with him; sex is referred to several times; sex is implied several times; sexual innuendo with nudity is mentioned

Mature Subject Matter:

Death, underage drinking, paranormal/ghosts.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Adults smoke; adults drink; pot smoking is mentioned; minors drink; drug use is mentioned.

Overall Book Rating
Profanity/Language
Rating:
10
10
Violence/Gore
Rating:
5
10
Sex/Nudity
Rating:
5
10

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About the Reviewer

Books and reading have always been an important part of my life. When I was very young, my grandma was the library director at our local public library. Years later, after she had retired, I became a librarian at the same library and worked there for several years before taking a part-time job at a local coffee shop, which gives me more time to do what I love, to read and to review books! A few of my favorite authors are Aimee Bender, Diane Chamberlain, and Curtis Sittenfeld however, I will read almost any book I come across! In my spare time you can find me reading (of course), volunteering at a wildlife animal rehab, or hanging out with my two house rabbits.